IDF distributing information kits to help prevent civilian kidnappings

Following threat of kidnappings in Judea and Samaria, IDF (Zahal) distributes the kits to help citizens defend themselves

Date: 12/09/2012, 6:42 PM     Author: Florit Shoihet

After receiving threats of kidnapping in Judea and Samaria, the Central Command has handed out kits with information on avoiding kidnapping to residents in the area. The kit includes instructional videos and guidebooks on improving security and was distributed to security coordinators in Judea and Samaria to help educate the population on the threat. The IDF (Zahal) hopes that the kit will help raise awareness amongst the citizens and help open lines of communication with the army should the need arise.

“Kidnappings are a very real threat, there are very clear intentions,” said the operations officer of the Judea and Samaria Division, Lt. Col Amit Yamin. “The kits contain an explanation on the phenomenon, how to spot suspicious signs, the right way to behave in such a situation, and who to contact in case the situation arises.”

More than six months ago, the decision was made to distribute “kidnapping kits” to soldiers serving under Central Command, especially to those stationed in Judea and Samaria. The kits warned soldiers against hitchhiking, and encouraged them to be vigilant when waiting at bus stops. In addition, the IDF (Zahal) embarked on a far-reaching marketing campaign to raise awareness amongst soldiers of the threat of kidnappings.

The Operations Branch has indicated that since the completion of the Gilad Shalit deal last summer, there has been an increase in the number of kidnapping attempts of both soldiers and civilians for the purpose of conducting prisoner exchanges. Over the course of the year, the IDF (Zahal) and the Shin Bet have foiled several kidnapping attempts by a terrorist cell operating out of Judea and Samaria.